How To Pack Lamps & Lampshades For Moving
by Dmitri Kara
At LampTwist, we know moving lamps is a notoriously challenging, risky, and time-consuming process, considering the delicate and fragile nature of lighting that always needs good packing and wrapping.
All lamps and bulb types come in a variety of odd shapes and sizes, making them tricky to relocate. They are easy to damage with wide sides, tall bases, and other delicate parts, so you wonder how to ensure they arrive at their new location intact?
Before you read on. Worry not!
We’ve gathered a handful of valuable tips on how to safely pack lamps and lampshades so they survive a move to your desired destination.
Read on for all the tips and details to make sure that your lamp collection shows up in one piece in your new home to light and decorate it up.
What Supplies You Need to Pack Lamps for Moving
Packing lamps for moving requires careful thought, so the operation goes smoothly, and no lumens are lost!
Joke aside, start by identifying and ensuring the necessary materials to both protect fragile inventory and avoid excessive waste.
To fully equip before you start, assemble the following list of supplies:
- A moving box big enough for lampshades to fit;
- Another box to fit the lamp base;
- Plastic bags;
- Unprinted packing paper;
- Bubble wrap, packing foam, packing peanuts, or another type of filler;
- An elastic band;
- Permanent markers to label the boxes;
- Old towels to wrap the lamp parts if you don’t want to waste paper and filling material.
Tailor Packing Boxes to Your Lamps
A good quality box with a suitable size is essential.
A place to find square / rectangular boxes at no cost is at your local retail store. However, these standard-size boxes might not work for all your lamps.
In this case, moving professionals What Removals state that it’s worth purchasing boxes from a moving company, so you can choose and tailor appropriately sized and shaped boxes to match the size and shape of your particular lamps. If you need packing materials only, just get them from the pros.
Remember to measure all your lamps before you buy the boxes, experts note. The better they fit, the more secure your lamps are until they arrive.
Dismantle Lamps Before Packing
The first step is to dismantle. It’s important to take units one by one. Do not take apart more than one lamp at a time, so the parts of the different lamps don’t mix up!
Of course, first, you need to:
- Unplug the lamp from the wall.
- Wind the cable and secure it with an elastic band.
- Move the cap or finial at the top of the lamp that holds the lampshade on the base.
- Unscrew it to remove it and set it aside.
- Separate the lampshade from the lamp base.
- Unscrew the lightbulb as well.
- Secure the coiled cable to the lamp base.
- Take off the metal screws and the shade riser if your lamp has them.
Taking the lamp apart and packing all items separately is absolutely necessary to protect each and every piece.
Pack the Small Pieces
Put the cap, shade riser, and screws in plastic bags and label them to make sure that they don’t get lost during the moving process. Otherwise, you risk having to look for replacement parts.
Pack Light Bulbs
The next item to pack is the light bulb, since you don’t want it rolling around while handling the other parts.
- Gently cover the lightbulb with bubble wrap.
- Secure bulbs with tape, so nothing slides away.
- Put in a box big enough to fit.
- Put enough packing paper or foam when you arrange the light bulbs in the box.
- Fill gaps so bulbs can’t move around.
- Place some extra bubble wrap or packing material on top of the box ahead of sealing it.
- Be sure to label the box as “fragile”, so you or your movers are extra careful when the time to move and transport it comes.
A note of caution comes from renovation professionals at Veejay's. Experts warn incandescent bulbs contain mercury, which is extremely toxic if let loose in the atmosphere, so you’re not supposed to ship such products unless licensed and have the proper logistics and handling.
You should properly dispose of any incandescent bulbs just as with disposing of CFLs and buy new ones at your new place.
Pack the lampshades next. Mind that they are quite delicate and rip, bend, or get stained easily.
- Make sure that your hands are clean and dry to avoid leaving any stains and having to clean lampshades later on.
- Wrap each lampshade individually in plain packing paper.
- Use plain paper, instead of printed, like a newspaper. Ink from the newsprint transfers easily to delicate materials like the shade surface and leaves permanent marks.
- Pack each shade separately in a properly sized box. Yet, in some cases, you can nest a small shade in a bigger one, as long as they are correctly enveloped and fit comfortably.
- Place silk lampshades in boxes one at a time, so silk doesn’t get ruined.
- Don’t pack any other items with the lampshades.
- Put each lampshade upside down in its box.
- Use packing paper, any type of wrapping material, or even old socks, towels, and sheets to fill in any gaps around the lampshade, so it doesn’t shift.
- Close the box and, before taping it, make sure that it doesn’t squash the shade inside.
- Be careful not to pack too tightly, so you don’t deform the shape of the lampshade.
- Label all boxes containing shades and put them in a secure location.
Next up, get the lamp bases packed.
- Once again, use air padding material to fully wrap each lamp base, burrito style.
- If the base material is delicate (glass, porcelain, etc.), add an extra layer of packing paper between the piece and the bubble wrap to prevent damage.
- Contrary to lampshades, multiple lamp bases are completely fine to go in one box.
- Use more wrapping material or foam to fill in any leftover space in the box to secure the lamp parts.
Pack Table Lamps
If your table lamp comes in multiple parts, pack it the same way as already described:
- Take apart.
Handle each piece separately.
What about a table lamp that cannot be dismantled?
- Start by unplugging it.
- Wrap the cable around the lamp base
- Tuck the ends into the coiled cord, so it stays secure.
- Take off the light bulb and pack it separately.
- Roll the entire lamp in bubble wrap and make sure to leave extra material on both ends, so it’s protected.
- Place the lamp standing up in a box tall enough.
- Feel free to put more than one table lamp in the box.
- Be sure to eliminate gaps with enough packing peanuts, foam, or any other wrapping material.
- Then, you’re ready to seal and label the box.
- Add a “This side up” note.
Pack Floor Lamps
One way to pack a floor lamp is to follow the same process of breaking it down into smaller pieces and packing them one by one.
If you prefer to move your floor lamp in one piece, here is a step-by-step guide:
- Remove the lamp bulb and pack individually.
- Then, wrap the entire lamp in a moving blanket and tape it for better protection.
- Choose a suitable position for the lamp in the moving vehicle. Either place it laying or between two heavy items, so it doesn’t move during transportation.
Pack a Chandelier
In addition to all the materials necessary for a safe lamp moving, packing a chandelier requires an extra box that is solid and corrugated with reinforced bottom, strong enough to hold the chandelier and the packing foam around it.
Where to start?
- Detach the chandelier from the ceiling.
- Remove any chains, candle cups, prism, arms, and so on.
- Wrap each of the pieces individually and put them away in a moving box.
- Label it as “Chandelier parts”.
- Wrap any wires or cords coming out of the chandelier.
- Place the chandelier in a reinforced box with protective wrapping material around the entire light unit. Again, mark the box.
- Be careful not to put anything heavy on the chandelier box.
Label & Tape Boxes
Additional tips to make sure you label the lamps properly:
- Don’t skip marking “fragile” or “this end up” on boxes containing delicate pieces.
- Mark the room the lamp belongs in on the box.
- Label “lampshade”, “lamp base”, etc. on the boxes they’re in.
- Also, add “Top” and “Bottom” to their corresponding places on the boxes.
As for sealing the boxes with tape, it’s best to go twice:
- Once in a vertical direction.
- Once in horizontal.
Packing Lampshades & Lamps, Wrap Up
There you go! Packing lamps and lampshades for moving can be actually easy if you are aware of the right tips to follow.
Stick to our step-by-step packing lamps guide to guarantee a successful moving process.